The emerging high definition DVD (HD DVD) format has won a key battle in its ongoing war with rival next-generation optical format Blu-ray with the announcement that Universal Pictures is backing the technology.
The film giant announced today that it has adopted HD DVD and promised to begin shipping selected titles to consumers during the summer holiday season next year.
According to the studio, in addition to "numerous consumer benefits" HD DVD will offer content providers "the most secure enhanced copy protection to date".
Universal added that the format can deliver enhanced picture and sound quality, greater storage capacity and increased interactivity compared with current DVDs.
An additional benefit cited by Universal is that DVD consumers will have the added convenience of backwards compatibility, allowing existing DVD libraries to be played on the new HD DVD hardware.
Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, said: "We have evaluated all the emerging home entertainment technologies and have selected the one which we feel is the most beneficial to our consumers.
"We are confident that HD DVD's advanced features will lead to a more robust consumer experience.
"For content providers such as Universal, the enhanced copy protection allows us to continue our fight against piracy and preserve the integrity of our properties."
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